WHITEHALL, Mich. — Don Rypma, a Chevy Dealer in Whitehall, is used to visitors at his dealership, but not the kind that came early Wednesday morning.
“About 4:30 this morning, I got a call from 911 telling me they had a few vehicles with tires that were missing on them,” David Rypma, a dealership manager said.
He said 46 wheels, between $30,000 and $40,000 worth, were unbolted from about a dozen vehicles.
“They kind of knew what they were doing, because they went after the high-priced rims. They went after the ones that were on the Yukons and Tahoes. The 20-inch chrome ones,” Rypma explained.
He said a set of four wheels on a Chevrolet Tahoe is worth about $3,000.
Authorities said a driver on U.S. 31 spotted the guys jacking up the vehicles and called police.
Sgt. Patrick Herremans with the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department said three men were spotted loading up a nearby pickup truck. “It does appear that at least one of them are local,” he said.
A canine tracked down two of the men after they ran from police. A third suspect was picked up Wednesday afternoon at a rest stop in the area. They all face larceny charges.
This kind of theft has happened in West Michigan before. A dealership in Greenville was hit last October, with thousands of dollars worth of wheels being stolen. Just two nights ago, the sheriffs confirm that a dealership in Spring Lake was targeted as well.
“It appears that the method of operation is the same. We’re unsure at this point if it’s related or not. It very well could.” Herremans said.